I’m now two-for-two after my debacle of missing my first ever “Wine of the Week!” I’ve forgiven myself and pledged to NEVER miss another one. So never is a pretty strong word, how about “try not to” miss another one. Always good to hedge your bet a little I always say.
Here is Round Two of the Three Sticks Pinot Noir Reviews. As you may recall, last week was the Three Sticks Sonoma Coast “Price Family Estates” Pinot Noir 2017. This week we’re traveling a little inland to areas of the Russian River Valley (RRV). Specifically around the cooler areas of Sebastopol and Occidental and even more specifically to the two estate vineyards contributing to the wine; “Alana” and the “William James” Vineyards.
Three Sticks Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017
Before inserting the needle (no, I wasn’t taking the wine intravenously) of my trusty Coravin, I did some checking on the production methods of this wine versus that of the “Price Family Estates,” herein referred to “PFE” for short. Notwithstanding of the terroir differences, the wines themselves are made slightly differently as well. Most notable is the amount of Whole Clusters used in the fermentation. The “RRV” used slightly more whole clusters, 28%, versus 25% for the “PFE,” and slightly more New French Oak, 46% versus only 42%. Also interesting is that, while not a significant variation, the Total Acidity is a skosh less, 6.3% versus 6.4%. Click here for more technical information.
Technicalities out of the way, how did all this come together and what wine did those differences make?
First thing I noticed was that the wine was not as aromatic. Don’t get me wrong; once I got my nose in there and sniffed things out, it was pleasant and filled with dark fruit and slight rustic nuances. Confirming, once again, that I didn’t take in the wine intravenously, I did pour it into a glass using my Coravin and just as last week, couldn’t help myself but take an immediate sip to quell my anticipation and excitement.
How’s that for a caesura? (Totally a word of the day and only found it by using that Internet Search Engine – no free plugs here!) The making of a dramatic pause for effect. No commercials. But I didn’t tell you yet what I had planned to go with this wine as I usually do. Here goes. Similar to the previous Pinot Noir, I thought I would start with a nice chicken dish to help with an even comparison. Using my newest favorite condiment – slash – marinade, Harissa, I decided on Harissa Marinated Chicken over a bed of Rice and Roasted Carrots. Yum!
It was all great! Wait, I need to rewind this a little to get the full review….
The first sip brought those dark rich flavors to light. Maybe a tad lighter than the “PFE” and with a certain “softness” (less acidity) to the wine as well. Like the “PFE,” the wine yielded a range of nuances that drifted off slowly to a long finish, commensurate with a quality wine. It was all great!
Just as I did with the Chardonnay’s, a final comparison and evaluation is in order. First and foremost, both wines were wonderful and delicious with each having some distinct differences that may help you decide which way to turn, unless you’re as big a fan as I am, and love them both! For those looking for and liking a softer rounder wine with not as much acidity or spiciness, I would opt for the “Russian River Valley.” For those looking for a bigger styled wine with that spiciness and more acidity, especially to offset food, then the “Price Family Estates” is the way to go.
While the “RRV” is a Club Member only wine with very limited production of only 378 cases, the “PFE” with an 865 case production may still be available. Best to contact the winery for details.
Look for more great wines to come from this iconic producer and join either their Wine Club or add your name to their allocation list, that way you’ll have an opportunity to partake of their wines!
Flash Alert: Between last weeks review of the “Price Family Estates” Pinot Noir and this, the “Russian River Valley,” Wine Spectator came out with their reviews. 94 and 93 Points respectfully! I would concur and “way to go Three Sticks!” Read reviews by clicking here.